190th Session Recap: Labor and Workforce Development
H.4640 – An Act relative to minimum wage, paid family medical leave and the sales tax holiday
- Jay was a strong advocate for increasing the minimum wage and for creating paid family leave as a program for Massachusetts and he co-sponsored legislation to accomplish these goals. Unfortunately, these provisions could not be passed without the inclusion of other provisions that he did not support, such as ending Sunday premium pay.
- The law incrementally raises the current $11-an-hour minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2023.
- Raises the current tipped minimum wage in Massachusetts of $3.75 an hour by 60-cent increments each year until it reaches $6.75 in 2023.
- Beginning in 2021, employees — even self-employed workers — will be allowed to take up to 12 weeks of paid family leave and up to 20 weeks of paid medical leave — with the guarantee that they can return to their previous job or an “equivalent position” with the same pay, status, and benefits.
- Establishes an annual Sales Tax Holiday in the State of Massachusetts.
Outcome: This bill was passed in both chambers and was signed by the Governor on June 28, 2018
H.36380 – An Act establishing the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
- Jay was an advocate and co-sponsor of this legislation.
- Adds pregnancy and pregnancy related conditions, including lactation and expressing breast milk, to the list of qualifiers employers cannot discriminate against
- Prevents employers from denying reasonable accommodations for pregnancy or pregnancy related conditions
- Prevents employer from refusing to hire a pregnant person because of the pregnancy or a pregnancy related condition
- Includes a non-exhaustive list of reasonable accommodations:
- More frequent/longer paid/unpaid breaks
- Time off to recover from childbirth (paid or unpaid)
- Temporary transfer to a less strenuous position
- Job restructuring
- Light duty
- Private non-private space for expressing breast milk
- Assistance with manual labor
- Modified work schedules
Outcome:This bill passed in the House and Senate and was signed into law by the Governor.
To read the full text of the bill, click here.